Thursday, December 24, 2009

Embyr's Light - Scene #2

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I wish you all the best over the next few days and I hope that there is plenty of joy that accompanies you and your loved ones. May God continually bless you in all that you do! I'll be gone over the next few days, but I'll be back early next week before New Years! There's plenty of people to visit this holiday season! Best of wishes!

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All right! So here's scene #2 of the first story I ever wrote. [I apologize for the length].

The challenge spanned 12 weeks in length and each week, a different picture was posted each week and from that picture, the story had to derive. Some of the pictures are really... different, as you'll soon see, but others were pretty cool.

Anywho, enjoy this week's scene!

~Rachel
God's Little Princess


A knock sounded on Anita’s door announcing Sally, who carried a tray of hot chocolate in one hand. “You thirsty?”

Smiling slightly, Anita took a mug, her mind making frantic calculations. “I’d love some, thank you.”

Leaving the door ajar, Sally pulled a chair to the bed and sat in front of Anita. “So, tell me what happened.”

“My services have been requested. I'm to find the Embyr Stone. Only a poem as my clue and a threat as my pay,” Anita sighed and sipped from the hot chocolate before going on. “She has Runil, Sally,” she breathed through gritted teeth.

Sally paled and rested her hand on Anita’s shoulder. “I see you’ve made your decision and I’ve made mine. I think I can help you.”

“What can you do, Sally? Besides your usual provisions I mean?”

“My friend Theo lives just north of town and she is a fairly accomplished psychic. I’m sure that she’d be willing to help you if you went and asked a favor. She can maybe give you an idea of where you can start the search.”

Anita’s spirits rose and she cupped the mug tighter in her fingers. “Would she help for free or would I have to pay?”

“Let me worry about her fee, alright?” Sally paused and looked out the window at the dead of night before going on. “Now you have a horse so travel won’t be a problem. You are a fair archer but a swordswoman you are not. You need a companion to help you on your travels.”

“That’d be nice and all, but I don’t have time to hunt out an employee. I’m leaving first thing tomorrow.”

“I know, but I already have someone. Come in!” she called towards the door. Anita gave her a funny look before turning to look at the tall man who walked through the door. Skinny but muscular, blond hair and blue eyes, the man smiled at the women. Letting a gasp escape her lips, Anita jumped up to hug the stranger. “Ethan! What are you doing here?”

“I stopped for the night and heard you were in trouble.” His eyes held hers. “Is Runil really in trouble?” She looked away and nodded. “Then I will help you on the quest for this Embyr Stone.”

Anita squeezed him tighter. “Thank you.”

Taking seats, the friends talked late into the night before finally bidding sweet dreams and heading to their beds. Anita, though worried, soon woke to the pale rays of dawn resting on her eyelids. Grabbing her sack and adjusting her cloak she headed downstairs to find Sally busy in the kitchen and Ethan at the bar. “Good morning all.”

“Good morning Nita!” Sally beamed as she laid the breakfast plate before her friend. “The horses are saddled and ready, food has been packed and the payment for Theo is wrapped in the white paper in the left saddle bag.”

Anita munched her toast, tears glistening in her bright eyes. “Thank you my friend, this means so much to me.”

Sally went pink and came round to pull Anita into a hug. “You scalawag! Now don't you dare think about killing yourself. I won't hear of it!” Anita sniffed and smiled.

“Don't worry mum, I'll keep her safe.”

Sally pulled a ladle from her apron, and one arm around Anita, tapped Ethan playfully. “Don't sass me boy.” They both laughed trading jokes as Anita hurriedly finished her meal. Saying goodbyes one last time and with Ethan at her side, they mounted the horses and headed north for Theo's.


At a gallop, the ride took fifteen minutes and soon Anita spotted a column of smoke arising about the tree line. Wind urged them onward, leading them into a clearing. Before them was a small cottage merged into the rock cliff behind it. Picketing their horses, Ethan and Anita unpacked the bribe and strode to the door which opened to reveal a lady dressed in white from head to toe with white hair, gray eyes and pale skin. Theo was in many ways, intimidating.

“Hi, I'm—”

“Anita and he's Ethan,” Theo finished for her. “You seek the answers to some questions and you have brought me a present.” She smiled. “Please come in, I don't often meet friends of Sally.”

Stepping through the door, they found themselves in a wide room with burgundy walls. Paintings of faraway landscapes hung beside book shelves overflowing with books and in the center of the room was a table, set for three. They each took a seat and Anita placed the parcel before Theo as the hostess poured them tea.

“You're good, Ma'am,” Ethan said as he reached for a cookie.

“Theo will do. Now tell me, one lump or two?”

“Theo, if you don't mind, I'd prefer to be on the quest as soon as possible and Sally said you could—”

“I understand dear. We'll save the tea for later then.” Standing now, Theo walked over to a door set into the cliff. “Come along then and watch your step.”

Dark and never ending, the passageway cut into the earth weaving downwards. Moss sprouted on the walls and ceiling emitting an eerie green glow. In the distance, a light shone, getting brighter with every step.

The cavern, for that is what it was, stretched into the distance, disappearing into the shadows. Stalagmites and stalactites adorned the space, some joining and forming large columns. A few feet from the stairs was the pool. Circular and two meters wide, the pool was the source of white light.

Theo approached the water's edge and motioned for Anita and Ethan to come closer. “What is it you wish to know?” she asked in a far off voice, gray eyes focused on the center of the pool.

Anita was silent as she removed the poem from her cloak. She studied the phrases over and over again, looking for the biggest clue. Finally, in a polite voice she asked, “What is made of ice and fire?”

Theo stared into the depths at the white light for a moment while Anita and Ethan hung back, not wanting to see the images she saw. “Ice and Fire. Fire and Ice, used to form the black of night.” The words rang loudly in the cavern as Anita stared at Theo, as if seeing her for the first time. Theo turned from the pool and said one more word, “Obsidian.” And then she fell.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Writing! -> Embyr's Light - Scene 1

Happy Wednesday! Last one before the Holidays start! I'm so excited! I'm working on an Essay at the moment so I don't have time for a long post, but I was thinking about old things that I had written and found a story I wrote in a challenge on Cleanplace.net in the winter of 2008. It's the first story I ever completed and I felt like sharing it. It's twelve scenes in total so you'll have to keep coming back to see the whole thing. Hehe...

As we go on, I'll tell you more about the actual challenge. It's not the best I've ever written (because it is my FIRST FULL LENGTH STORY! YAY!), but I had lots of fun writing it, so enjoy!

~Rachel
Made to be HIS child

Night was fast approaching as Anita hurried to the Drango Tavern. After visiting her Elvin grandparents, she was eager to return home and see her best friend Runil. A strong gust of wind blew through the streets, urging her onward as if it knew something approached from the glooming clouds blanketing the sky. The door opened under her touch releasing the many sounds and smells as men and women enjoyed their warm meals on the cold August night.

Cloaked from head to toe, Anita headed to the bar and sat on a tall stool. Lowering her hood she smiled as she said, “Good evening, Sally.” The bartender turned and raised her head. As she saw Anita she grinned.

“Anita!” she said in a booming voice that would have been heard down the street on a quieter night. “How have you been?”

“Well, thank you,” Anita replied while accepting the warm mug Sally handed to her. “And yourself?”

“Never better! Business is going splendidly thanks to all our new Elvin brothers from the east. But whatcha doing back so soon? Weren’t you with your mum’s folk?”

“Yea, but I was missing Runil, we’ve barely been apart since the catastrophe and all so it just wasn’t the same.”

Sally’s face fell. “I’m afraid I gots some bad news, Nita.”

Anita heard the sorrow in her friend’s voice and asked anxiously, “What? What happened?”

"He's gone."

"Gone? What do you mean gone?"

The sound of the door being forced open stopped the reply. A stranger stood in the door frame. All talking ceased as the tavern took in the sight. A woman with long curly blonde hair gazed around the room, her grey eyes searched and stopped when she found Anita’s face. She was tall with red lips and a curved figure. She wore a tight black blouse with light brown breeches and around her shoulder draped a magenta cloak.

All talking had ceased as the tavern took in the stranger. Opening her perfect red lips she asked, “Anita Iatna?”

“That's me,” Anita said, slipping off her stool. The woman was a head taller than her and definitely beautiful. Anita had pale skin and wild brown hair in comparison. Her nose was sharp and her cheeks hollow. Her chest was still flat even though she was 17 and she was skinny. Only her bright green eyes showed promise of hidden beauty. “Can I help you?”

The woman smiled, a cold, cruel smile. “Yes you can. I'd like to talk to you privately.”

“Please would be nice,” Anita muttered under her breath, but she could tell this woman meant trouble, so smiling at Sally she walked down a hall on the left side of the bar, towards the conference rooms.

The tunnel went deep into the bar and many doors branched off leading to different storage rooms. At last they arrived at the end of the hall where a windowless room waited for their chat. Once in the room, the woman shut the door. “I need your services Anita,” she said, her voice urgent and harsh at the same time.

“I'm afraid I can't help a nameless client.”

She scowled. “My name's Cynthia and that's all you need to know,” she said through gritted teeth.

“Why should I help you?”

“Because you have nothing better to do and Runil would want you to help me.”

Anita paled slightly. “What do you know about Runil?”

Cynthial sneered. “Enough. Now do I have your attention?”

Anita nodded, her brain working furiously, trying to find the reason this woman had targeted her. Was she somehow the key to something? I know I'm a relic hunter and all, but if this is about some old artifact, an artifact that will hurt Runil... her thoughts trailed off as Cynthia began speaking again.

“I need you to find the Embyr Stone.”

“And you can't find it yourself?” Anita asked.

“I am too tall to get in the location,” Cynthia replied, eyes cold behind rapidly blinking lids.

Anita couldn't put her finger on it, but the situation made her uneasy. Something's wrong here, but what? she thought and then asked, “This stone is important because?”

“Lets just say without the stone, there will be one less human on this earth.”

Anita's face paled as Cynthia grinned, but even though she was scared for Runil, she couldn't help but feel curious. Who would kill for a stone?

“I thought you'd understand. Now, I need it within a week so you only have 7 days.”

“That won't be enough time! I don't even know where to begin looking or what this stone can do, where it was last seen and so on.”

Cynthia searched her cloak until she withdrew a small slip of paper from its folds. “Here,” she said placing it on the table. “Good luck and don't try to weasel out. I will know.” And with that she turned and left the room.

Anita sat still, stunned in the silence and slowly reached for the paper. On it read a short poem:
Found in a place of Ice & Fire
My core is bound in light wire
Strength is given to you who seek
To aid and help all who are weak
The rest of the paper was empty, as if the rest had been forgotten. The Embyr Stone, she thought. Oh boy, it looks like I'm on another quest and I'm not prepared in the least. Standing, she place the paper in the folds of her jacket and headed to the door.

Back in the crowded bar, talking had resumed and Sally was busy serving new customers. Spotting Anita, her eyes grew serious, contradicting her merry features and asking silent questions. Anita reached for her regular room key and mouthed, “Tonight,” before slipping silently up the stairs. She had some thinking to do.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Long Needed Prayer

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Aren't you glad the week is half over? Today, I was able to hand in one of my huge assignments and I feel so free! We had to make a life-size skeleton and it took hours and hours!

Anywho, today I decided to share a piece of writing with you. I wrote it last summer during a challenge I took with Cleanplace and decided that I would share it with you guys this week. It's a very important story to me and I put my whole heart into it.

I hope you guys enjoy!

~Books
b-crazy


Once again, I found myself forced to come to church. Before my parents could argue, I took my place in the last row while they hurried to the front. That's the way it was, and that's the
way I liked it. More people filed through the doors and soon the sanctuary was jam-packed. No one wanted to miss Pastor Jake’s last sermon. I saw a few of my friends sitting a few isles in front of me, but I haven't sat with them for months and I certainly didn't want to move now. I'd probably say something to push them further away, and as much as I hated my life, I didn't want to ruin theirs. The congregation all rose to sing a few hymns, and then the sermon, which was bound to be boring, began.

Pastor Jake took his time walking to the pulpit, organizing his notes and then he cleared his throat.

“Everyone, at one point in their life, says a prayer.” His voice carried back over the rows and sounded clearly in my ears. “Whether that prayer is for a loved one, for oneself or a quick prayer said in quiet desperation, it doesn't matter. God hears all prayers and He will always answer accordingly.”

Ha! That's a laugh. God doesn't answer all prayers. He didn't answer mine when I called six months earlier. He had left my family to suffer, He had turned away.

Six months ago, my older sister Thérèse was driving home from work, when she had been hit by a drunk driver. She had been severely injured and, after being rushed to the hospital, was placed in intensive care. I remember when we received the call. My Mom's face had palled to an unearthly white while tears poured from her eyes. I had felt numb all over and incapable of tears. I was so sure that she would be fine, that the doctors would simply wave a hand and she'd be able to come home, but it had been touch and go.

My sister had remained in a coma for the first three months. Three months. Everyday I'd pray to God and ask that He'd bring my sister back to life, and everyday, I'd get nothing.

Then one day in late April, on one of my regular visits, Thérèse woke up and looked at me.

“Liz,” she had said in a soft voice, “why are you crying?”

Until that moment, I hadn't realized that tears pooled on her bed sheet and so I quickly rubbed away my stray tears and said, “I was worried we'd lost you.” And now, I wonder why I hadn't gone straight to get a doctor, but it's too late.

“You didn't lose me. I love you, little sis, and I'll always love you. Remember that, alright?”

I had dumbly nodded and Thérèse had smiled, closing her eyes for the last time as she sunk into her pillow.

All that praying and she had died before my eyes. I'm sure God loves me now. I turned my attention back to Pastor Jake.

“However, though we think that with prayer, our problems will instantly be solved, that will not always be the case. God works in mysterious ways and he can't be controlled by our every whim and desire. John 14:14 says, 'If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.' So as long as what you are asking for is for God, He will do it. Incredible, isn't it?”

So saving my sister wasn't for God?

Pastor Jake seemed to scan the crowd for a moment and then his eyes found and held mine.

“As you all know, I am moving to Wawa, and this is my last service. I had planned a different sermon for today, but God kept pushing this story into the front of my mind, so now I will share with you a story from my childhood.”

Pastor Jake continued to hold my gaze, and somehow I knew this next story was for me.

“When I was ten years old, my Grandma was sent to the hospital for a serious case of kidney stones. I really loved my Grandma and she had been such a strong Christian influence in my life, so of course, I figured God would not let her die. I prayed day and night for six months as she stayed in the hospital. I figured that God was going to use her for a miracle since she was always preaching his name and she had touched many people, but as her condition worsened, the doctors said it was only a matter of time.

“November 10th was her time.” Pastor Jake paused and I could see the faint glimmer as a tear traveled down his cheek. “I remember as my Dad came into wake me for church as usual, my sister in his arms. He placed her gently on the bed beside me and looked us both in the eye as he told us that Grandma had died earlier that morning. At first, I couldn’t believe it and I had sat in a numbed silence, unable to shed a tear.

“As I thought more about it, however, I became more and more furious with God. All those nights I had prayed, “Please save my Grandma” had been for nothing. It wasn’t until I was sitting in Sunday school three years later that a teacher changed the way I thought about things. This teacher asked us if we thought God always answered our prayers and I answered a flat out no. Everyone in my church knew of my Grandparents and he looked on with sympathy and said, ‘Your Grandma was saved, Jake. She is now with her Lord and Savior in Heaven.’ ‘But she’s not alive anymore,’ I replied. ‘No, she’s more alive then ever before and I bet she is watching over you. She really loved you.’ The tears I had held back flowed freely at that moment because his words rang with such truth.

“So that day, I realized that God had answered my prayer, it just wasn’t how I expected. God will always answer your prayers, you just can’t always imagine how.

“I’d like to read this last passage, and as I do, please close your eyes to listen to His word. ‘So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,’ Luke 11:9.

“Dear Father, you know our hearts and our minds better then we do. You know that we can sometimes be angered and that sometimes, we wish to push you far away, but you also know that we will find our way back into your open arms. We forever thank you, oh Lord. Amen.”

“Amen,” the congregation echoed and then stood for the closing hymns. I remained seated, my eyes closed. I wasn't finished praying yet.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Humanity's Monsters

Good day!

It's another rainy day for me, but there was a bit of sun this morning so I am somewhat content. Today, I've decided to share a poem--a sonnet--with y'all. This is the first sonnet I've ever written and it deals primarily with the world. It's a little dark and perhaps a bit morbid, I know, but that's the kind of poetry I like to write. The kind with a glimmer of hope at the end, eh! The poem is entitled Humanity's Monsters and is basically about how dark the world seems to be growing.

I don't want to say too much, but I hope you enjoy it!

~Books
b-crazy


Humanity's Monsters

The world transformed to a shadowy place
where daggers spring forth in the form of words,
speaking temptation to all that have heard.
Pretenders sport masks and ever change face,
not caring who loses this world wide race.
Darkness hides in twilight, waiting to lure,
a patient predator, timing the 'merge.
Evil resides in our amazing race.
Human minds fall pray to deceptive greed;
seeking--savouring the substance of wealth
while vile monsters cry out from soulless eyes.
Hope is consumed like rain raising a weed,
choking life's already decaying health.
All our faith lies in the promised sun rise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Words...

Today I've decided to share a piece of my writing with you all. It's something I wrote last summer during a project I did with CP. The idea was to write "snapshot" stories for a made up town. Each story was another peek into a different person's life. The following was one that I found amusing. I know it's a little long, but I still hope you enjoy it!

~Books
b-crazy


Sam Reed and his dog Rover

“The skies are clear today,” Sam Reed mumbled as he surveyed the almost perfectly painted clouds. “What a perfect day fer fishin’, if I say so miself.” Sam grabbed his leather bag and walked towards a brand new motor boat with his dog. “Rover, mi boy, I say we go fishing.”

Rover, a large, brown speckled dog, simply wagged his tail and proceeded to jump into the bow.

Sam chuckled. “Let’s be off then.” He climbed the red side ladder and took a position near the stern. In the distance, faint and muffled noise reached their ears, but dog and owner paid no mind.

“Now how does this here motor work? Ahh, who cares, we’ll fish from right here. Alright, mi boy?” The dog weaved through orange PFDs and came to rest his head on Sam’s foot. “Good dog. Now where are them fishin’ poles?” Sam Reed scratch his greying head with his soot covered hand and squinted at the boat’s assembled objects. Up near the bow, red and blue buttons marked the control panel and set below that were some storage bins. The back of the boat was box shaped with a ring of seats along the edges. The cushions were removable providing more storage. A long, blue fishing rod rested on the far side.

“Aha! There we go,” he said, as he reached across and grasped the thin stock. Carefully, he unhooked the blade bait from the stick and got the casting ready. “I’m here on mi boat on this summer day, just minden’ my own, lettin’ time slip away,” he began to whisper in a sing-song voice. Carefully he brought the rod back behind his right ear and with a flick of his wrist, he let it fly. “There’s nothin’ like fishin’ to pass the time. There’s nothin’ like fishin’ and makin’ this rhyme.” Sam chuckled and pulled back on the string. “Ooh! Rover, mi boy, we’ve gotsa catch!”

Slowly and with precision, Sam began to wind in the string. “What do you think it is, Rover? Maybe a new pair of shoes or a hat for mi head,” he continued to croon to his dog. “A coat would be nice too, since the nights can be chilly.” Sam heaved and brought the blade bait back into his hands only to discover that a skinny bike tire was attached. “Well it’s not a coat or a hat, but it could be useful.” Grasping the tire with a partly gloved hand he felt the material and examined the inside. “It’s in pretty good shape, I thinks. I bet some man was bikin’ and he tried to bring a spare tire with him. Silly thin’ to do, but people are people, right Rover? Anyways, I bet he had trouble carryin’, it so he just went an’ left it. Oh well!”

Sam carefully unhooked the rubber and prepared to cast again, raising his voice in a tuneless song, “I went down to this here creak, to do a little fishin’, but the fish weren’t bitin’ and that just ain’t...” he paused midway through casting and looked at his dog. “I need a rhym fer fishin’… Oh! Yous can’t help mi.” Raising the rod to his left shoulder this time, he flicked his wrist and watched the blade bait fly through the air.

“Rover, what would’ve happened if I’d gone an’ got more schoolin’? Would I not be fishin’ right now?” Sam frowned a bit but then felt a tug on the line and smiled wide. “A biggun I bet!” He stood and pulled as he reeled in. Once more he grabbed the hook to find, not a fish, but a large, purple hat. “Hmm… I can’t see miself wearing this here hat. What about you Rover?” His dog gazed up at him with large brown eyes and then rested his head back down on Sam's foot. “Yea, I didn’t think so. Well, who’d have lost this hat anyway? I bet a lady owned it. I bet she went to tea one day and a big ol’ breeze came and swept her hat away. Perhaps she got it from her daughter before the wee lass passed away and perhaps it meant much to her. Perhaps.” Sam rested the hat on top of the tire and turned back to the rod. “One more time fer a fish!”

The hook sailed smoothly through the air and Sam heard a distinct thunk as it landed. “Ahh! We’ve caught somethin’ unawares, mi boy!” Hurriedly he reeled in the line and untangle a square slip of card from the blade bait. “What be this?” Holding it in the light, he examined the thin card closely. On the front, the words “Welcome to Jerico's” were plastered in red along with the name “Marcus” spelled out in blue.

“Sam Reed, can I please have my name tag back?” a voice asked from below the gunwales.

Sam stood, and looked over the edge of the boat down at the floor below. A young man in his twenties stood a few feet away on the tiled floor and glared up at Sam. His red uniform vest held a large hole where the name tag should have been.

“How many times do I have to tell you that you can’t fish in the store? The hook can be dangerous if you get someone in the eye, Sam!” Marcus said, his voice laced with exasperation.

“I know, Marcus, it’s just I like fishin’ and so does Rover. With the blue sky above, this here is always the perfect spot.”

Sam watched as Marcus ran a hand down his face and he looked to his dog. “I think we’re in trouble, mi boy,” he mumbled quietly.

“Sam, how many times do I have to tell you that that's a mural, it is not a real sky!”

Sam hung his head in shame and climbed from the boat. He passed Marcus the name tag back and said, “Come on Rover, we’re not wanted here.” Rover hopped from the boat and walked beside his master as the two headed for the exit. “Good day of fishin’ it was too,” was the last thing he mumbled before leaving the store.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Shadowed Silence

All right-i-o!

I promised something special for today and something special is what you'll get! So, today I have a short story-ish thing that I wish to share with all of you. A few weeks ago, I posted a different story that I wrote for a website called cleanplace.net and this story is from the same place. Bellow you'll find the challenge and then my story. You be the judge as to whether or not you think I followed the guidelines well, or not. I really hope I did!

Who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to write your own creation using the theme of Terror! You never know what wonderfully disastrous stories you can concoct when inspired. I started writing this in Chemistry class (and no I wasn't ignoring my teacher.. entirely! I'm joking!), and it sort of grew into something unexpected, which is good too!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. It is 50 or so words off of 1000, so understand that it will take a minute or two to get through.

Well, that's it for today! I'll "see" you all again tomorrow! (The picture is cool, is it not?!)

~Books
b-crazy


This month, we are going to focus on feelings--and how we can convey them through showing!
Write a story that conveys the following feeling: Terror
You should NOT use the WORD terror, nor any derivative (i.e. terrorize, terrified, etc). Use actions and word choice to convey the feeling.
All characters should be NEW, and no fanfic. Remember to edit!
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, present day, First Person POV
Word Count: 500-1000

Have fun!

~*~

“Ever have the feeling that you are being watched or that someone is lying in wait for you around the next corner? For those few precious seconds leading up to the corner, your heart races and flutters like a caged bird, screaming danger to all your senses. Then, your steps begin to falter as your fists clench and sweat dots your brow. Your entire being does not want to turn the corner because, by now, you've convinced yourself that someone is there, watching and waiting for you. Crazy, eh? What started out as a simple thought had quickly developed into an uncontrollable fear.

“Anyways, you end up turning the corner and no one is there. No one and no thing. You breathe a huge sigh of relief, wipe the sweat from your brow and then continue on your way, the problem resolved and already edging from your memory.

“I'm sure we've all had similar experiences where our minds play tricks with our senses, placing non-existent objects and beings in our path and making us do a double take. On your way home from school or work or while you walk all alone late at night, that's when fear is supposed to strike, right? Never in the comfort of our own homes, right? So, why..?” I shake my head and pause in my monologue. I can tell I have the class' undivided attention by the way their eyes hungrily follow my every movement as I pace back and forth.

“Let me explain,” I continue. “I never thought that fear could hunt me down and barricade me inside my own home. Those strong walls are meant to protect me from the world's icy grip and yet, instead they turned on my and trapped me inside that cold, cold night. The furniture and objects that comforted me after long and trying days or the food that waited with silent cries to be eaten... how could they ever do me wrong?

“I had nothing to fear and nothing to suspect on that January afternoon as I unlocked my door and hit the four buttons that disabled the alarm. It was all routine and nothing seemed to be out of place and nothing could ruin my happy, light mood. I tossed my shoes and jacket into a pile and then jumped for the couch, performing my perfect twirl and sit as I did so.

“My body bounced gently against the cushions and I reached over for the many TV remotes resting on the side table. After school cartoons are my favourite way to relax after a long day of work and thinking. Without much thought, I settled into a steady stream of cartoons for the next couple of hours. Show after show came up and I drank up the funny and amusing characters along with their weird and outrageous setting.

“Pretty soon, three hours had passed and night had fallen. I glanced up at my clock. Six o'clock. I had another hour or so before my folks came home, maybe more. Pushing myself from the black couch, I stretched my tired muscles. It's trying to lay in one position for hours, you know. I covered my mouth with my left hand as I yawned and reach my right hand out to turn off the television.” I mimed the actions as I spoke, placing myself in the scene and bringing my fellow classmates along with me as I journeyed to my living room. The 'act' was not actually an act for me, but they didn't know that. The memory, barely a week old, flashed vividly in my mind's eye as I reached out and hit the power button, stopping the constant chatter and plunging the room into silence.

“Silence is golden, they say,” I whispered into the still room. My classmates were so silent that I could drop a pin and the sound would have echoed. “Silence is a good thing and something to achieve, they say. Who they are, I don't know, but they are wrong. Silence is a nightmare, a curse and an enemy. The black hand that squeezes you tight and blocks off all escape, is silence. The sound that echoes loudly in your ear and presses down on you are your solitude, is silence. Silence found me and chose that moment to attack.

“With the TV noise off, silence crept in and invaded my soul. My mind began to hear strange noises coming from the bathroom and laundry room. Doors creaked and stairs squeaked as I walked by. Darkness waited patiently at my door for me to... crack and let it in. I couldn't do that though. I had to stay strong and sane. Strong and sane. Strong.. and... sane..? Right? I had to stay sane? Already I couldn't remember what to do with myself and so, I did what any scared person would do. I sat down on the floor, curled in my legs and began to rock back and forth. My eyes darted fervently about, studying everything. Was it my imagination or were the shadows reaching out for me? Their long, tendrils snaked across the floor in my direction. I hugged my legs closer to my body and continued to rock.

“How had my mood taken such a downward turn? I rested a hand to my heart and felt my heart beat quicken in fear. Would this nightmare ever end? Would the darkness ever let way to the light?

“As I sat huddled in fear, all these questions and more crowded my brain and I fell into a fitful sleep, not wishing to wake into the ever pressing silence. The ever pressing shadowed silence...”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ghosts Schmosts!

Well, it's Wednesday! I believe I mentioned last week that today's my favourite day of the week, and that's still true this week. Today was my English Teacher's birthday, which is kind of cool though I won't tell you how old she is! I figured, for tonight's post, I'd respond to last week's poll which asked a short story. The following is just under 1,000 words which I know can be long. I'm part of a teen writing website called www.cleanplace.net and basically, every week they have a Squabbling or Challenge. This week's challenge was:

Write a story using the opening line:
I was six years old the first time I disappeared.

Taken from:
Vanishing Acts, by Jodi Picoult

You must integrate the line INTO the story (i.e., you may NOT make it a line in a book that is being read by a character, etc.) All characters should be NEW, and no fanfic. Your story should have a beginning, middle and end. Remember to edit!

Genre:
Science Fiction -- Absolutely no fantastical elements! Use SCIENCE. The story should be set at least 100 years in the future and may take place somewhere beside Earth.

Word Count: 500-1000

Have fun!

These challenges are meant to, well, be challenging, and to teach young writers to think outside the box. Here's my short story deriving from the challenge. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps are inspired to try it yourself!

~Books
b-crazy

----------

I was six years old the first time I disappeared. Then, I was too young to fully comprehend the depth of my disappearance and thought that I had somehow tapped into some unknown magic. Now, ten years later, I know better.

As I sat on my bed that hot, lazy summer afternoon, the only thought going through my mind was of the cute girl who had crossed my path yesterday evening at the MacDonald's cash. Her slender frame and dimpled cheeks had caught me in a snare, mid-grab for her money. Then, the faint sent of peppermint floated on a breeze and into my nose. Resting gently, the smell lingered for moment before leaving as she turned away.

Deep within my thoughts, the disappearance caught me off guard. One moment I lay on my bed, reclining gently on my pillows, and then the next instant, my body is dissolving into billions of particles. Before I know it, I'm being whizzed through the air and out into the vast regions of space and time. How I can see where I'm going, I have no idea, but watching the Earth receding to the blue-green sphere never gets old.

The journey never lasts long and soon I find my particles rearranging themselves under a large glass tube. I blink away my surprise as the tube lifts and I step out into a large multicoloured room crowded with mini-humans. Walking forward, my body is pushed along by the sea of blue jumpsuits. I can't help the smile tugging at my lips as I join in the chaotic hustling and bustling. Each person comes no higher than my waist and yet, each is probably far more intelligent then myself.

"Ahh! Michael," a voice said from above my head. I looked up and felt a grin capture my mouth. A small man stood high on a platform overlooking the mesh of bodies. Dressed in the standard jumpsuit, only his flaming red hair set him apart from the others.

"Glad to see you could make it," he continued as I struggled to get closer to the ledge.

I laughed. "Sylvester, when have you really given me a choice in coming here or not?"

He rested a finger on his chin and pretended to ponder the question, a thoughtful smile on his lips. "Well, no. But technically I can't make you stay here. It is against the law, you know."

I shook my head, beaten. "You mean, so you tell me it is."

"Well, it doesn't matter, Mike, you know that you'd stay here if you could."

I chuckle at this. You know me too well, Syl. It seems the Moon has become my home away from home. Anyways, what's the problem this time?"

Sylvester brought a finger to his lips and shushed, looking around at the sea of people as he did so. "Not here," he whispered, and jumped from the ledge and into the sea of people. "Follow me."

That captured my interest. Normally, the Moonies, as I called them, simply called me up because there was a simple glitch that their advanced minds could not understand. Over the past 300 years, a lot of the knowledge from the 21st century has been lost meaning that the everyday issues I may deal with seem like catastrophic problems for the Moonies because they are so rare. Born in Wawa, Ontario, 1991, I'm an expert in this sort of thing.

Sylvester led me down a secluded hallway and through a maze of corridors. I looked around me in wonder at the lack of bodies pressing in from all side. Sylvester had first told me when I was six years old that we were in the largest power house on the moon. In order to create such power, there needed to be non-stop working and that means non-stop people.

"Syl, where are all the Moonies?"

"Elsewhere," he replied, his voice sounding detached and afraid. "Yesterday, there was an incident and three of our people were seriously injured. We closed down this section of the building in order to protect them."

"How did they get hurt?" I asked, not wanting to know the answer.

Sylvester sighed and stopped walking. He turned, looked me straight in the eye and said, "We believe it to be some paranormal activity."

I blinked. Paranormal Activity? Wait a minute—"You mean a ghost?"

He gave a curt nod and continued on his way.

"Syl, be reasonable. Even I know there is no such thing as ghosts and my civilization is light years behind your time."

"Just see for yourself."

I sighed but said nothing as I followed him into a large room loaded with boxes.

"This is our storage shed. Any technology that is outdated or broken first comes here to be sorted before it is taken to the furnace," he whispered, crouching low. "Look up there... do you see it? The ghost?"

I glanced up and laughed. I couldn't help myself. Their "ghost" was a box! A box floating in mid-air, true, but the room was filled with boxes. Following a hunch, I looked around the room and spotted a large mirror resting against the far wall.

"Syl, when did that mirror get here?"

"The day before yesterday, I believe," he answered, not following my link.

"Watch," I said. I walked over and stood in front of the mirror and struck a ferocious pose.

From behind me, I heard Syl give a slight squeak.

"You're on the ceiling!" he said.

"Right. You see, the mirror is reflecting my image into the ceiling. Normally, that would do nothing, but because your light-bulbs are giant sheets of glass, they capture the image and provide the image of a ghost. What you're seeing is scientific magic."

He laughed. "Amazing!"

I grinned. "Yep. I remember—never mind, it's not important."

Sylvester gave me a quizzical look and I smiled. Who said the future needs to know everything?